Temptation - Russian River Brewing Company

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TemptationTemptation

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

972 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

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Reviews: 972
Hads: 3,279
rAvg: 4.39
pDev: 8.2%
Wants: 1,711
Gots: 863 | FT: 49
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-19-2003

A blonde ale fermented with a special strain of yeast, then aged in French oak chardonnay barrels. Flavors of wine and oak absorb into the brew throughout twelve months of aging. During this aging process, a secondary fermentation occurs using a yeast strain disliked by most brewers and winemakers called Brettanomyces.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 972 | Hads: 3,279
Photo of aggiearcher13
4.95/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Vibrant golden yellow with a thin but lively white head, probably thin due to my cautious pour. Excellent lacing. Not sure what more I could ask for.

S: Tart and funky with a hint of buttery oak and soft fruits, specifically pear.

T: Tart and funky, but not overpowering. Leaves plenty of room for notes of pear and apple to shine through, and a hint of oak. Finishes with notes of clove and some herbal/grassy hop notes.

M: If anything, this is where this beer lacks just slightly. Not quite as much body as I had hoped, but given the wild yeast it's a difficult mission to achieve.

O: Pricey, but worth every penny. An extremely enjoyable beer. (656 characters)

Photo of throwitallaway
4.95/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Can't remember who I got this from. Totally stoked on it thought, so thank you! Decanted from the bottle into an oversized wine glass. Pours a golden color with a big, thick head. Looks great. Aroma of funk, sourness, lemon and apple. Smells very wine like and completely delicious. Taste is just good. Initially hits you with some sourness, then, lemon, apple, and back to sour. Mouthfeel is well carbonated but creamy. Drinkability is off the scales. This beer is more or less perfect and one of my favorites. (511 characters)

Photo of botham
4.94/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on tap at Toronado in San Diego. pours a straw color ith a single finger of white head, poor retention and lo lacings.

aroma is vinous, with a vinegar like sweetnesss, a bit subtle, with notes of grapes, a bit of pale malts and some sour apple. phenomenal in the nose.

taste is more of the same with a wonderful vinegar sourness and a great semi-dry character. the fruit and malt dance behind the sourness on the palate. excellent!

mouthfeel is semi-dru and light bodied without any overtly-sweet note that tends to plague beers similar to this one. very refreshing and wonderful on the palate.

drinkability is perfect. mildly sour, refreshing and supremely drinkable. a great summer beer with a refreshing quality. cheers! (727 characters)

Photo of badbeer
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 002. Bottle has tendency to foam over.

Hazy yellow color with a white head, decent retention. Smell includes some lemon, soft sourness, oak, and there seemed to be a very light spice that I'm unable to name. Taste has sour oak, lemon, and some other citrus flavors, slightly acidic, with a fairly dry finish. Not as sour as others I have enjoyed, but still quite good. Mouthfeel had high carbonation with a light body. Light body and dry finish to this, paired with its excellent taste make this one highly drinkable. I wish I had plenty more; would be great for special occasions.

Update: This beer has gotten better and better. Just marvelous. (653 characters)

Photo of schinebd
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - A cloudy light golden yellow/brown. The head is fluffy, white and moderately dense. While it does go down (slowly), a nice finger thickness retains. There is moderate lacing as well as pieces of the fluffy head are left clawing to the edge of the glass.

S - Tangy lemon zest combines with the smell of crushed white grapes, giving the beer a sweet/sour smell that I think will transition nicely into the flavor. This is undercut by some distinct fresh leather (hooray, brett.)

T - The tart lemony flavor really squeezes on the outsides of the tongue while fruit sweetness of grapes, pears, apples boil on the center and tip of the tongue. Underneath is some uncertain oak flavor, uncertain in that it is not the traditional oak wood flavor, and more wood a fence surrounding a farm that cows have been rubbing against kind of oak (again, hooray brett.) Some light bready malts serve as one of the few tame, traditional flavors, and serve as a subtle signal to remind you that this is, indeed, a beer.

M - The flavors coat the tongue quite well, covering every inch and straining every taste bud. Well carbonated to really make all of the flavors explode.

D - Flavorful, thirst quenching, light in the stomach and a moderate ABV. The perfect drinker. (1,260 characters)

Photo of errantnight
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 003:

Well,that got better! Not that we were looking at a beer with a ton of room for improvement or anything, or perhaps it's just I like it better fresh or.... I dunno...

But the sourness is in perfect balance, the Chardonnay/white wine notes are less prominent and more integrated. Dry and refreshing, still with a solid mid-palate sweetness. Just a joy to drink.

9-20-07

A 4.0 S 5.0 T 4.5 M 4.0 D 5.0

Well I've been hanging on to this bottle for... well... too long. When I bought it I grabbed the last bottle of Supplication, but there were two bottles of Temptation, and I didn't buy the second. WHY?! Just because I don't have a great way to cellar? This is drinking great as it is!

Well, now I know.

Batch 002:

Pours a beautiful golden blonde with relatively thin, if frothy head, just a hint of haze.

Smells, as it warms, like goodness in a glass. The chardonnay characteristics/similarities are marked, but there's a little hint of spice and fruity warmth. This has been poured into a globe red wine glass, and it's heaven just below the rim.

First few sips are a bit disappointing, it's too cold. Flavor is crisp and refreshing, but thin and lacking depth. The beer's fault? No... mine.

After warming, the intriguing complexities come bursting forth... the oak is relatively muted, but the brew is incredibly vinous... the sourness, which I was expecting to be much more forward, is really only present in the very back of the palate, making this crisp and refreshing. If anything, I'm a bit disappointed by the carbonation, as I at points wish this sat more comfortably on the tongue (like wine) to allow more savoring. Balance is perfect, finishes clean and dry after a touch of sweetness up front... this isn't wacking you over the head with any big flavors, but the sum total is superb.

Would love to see 750s of this available more frequently... I had this at the end of an evening, but this would make an amazing aperitif, and would pair well with anything a good white wine would. (2,016 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drinking this beer is a remarkable experience! I practically left this world for a while, becoming totally engrossed in the entire encompassing experience that is "Temptation." We are all susceptible to temptation; it lures us in and is so pleasurable that right and wrong, and all we know and understand is irrelevant because we are engulfed by the experience. That is the case with this beer, aptly named, "Temptation." I was in a full room with a large group of friends, but as I enjoyed this beer I left all that behind (for a time).

Presentation: A true collectable bottle that is beautiful and classy. Corked and caged, the bottle is marked Batch 001. The server at Monk's removes the cage and then it pops like champagne and poured into a Duchesse De Bourgogne goblet.

Appearance: It pours a glimmering golden color. The head fades to a majestic halo around the beer clearly indicating it rightful status as nobility among beer.

Smell: She brought the beer out while I was still eating. I wanted to get the most from the beer so I finished eating first. However for 10 minutes while I finished eating the aroma was lofting from the glass and teasing my senses. From the moment she popped the cork I could smell the French oak aroma. The smell is unique but the closest thing I've had recently was Cidre Bouché Brut De Normandie 2004, a French oak aged cider. The aromas of wood and leather are complimented with honey vanilla and yeast that are in a league of their own. Simply stated; enticing!!

Taste: Beautiful apple oak, green and white grapes, Chardonnay or rather Pinot Grigio flavors parallel the sweet vanilla honey French oak, earthy flavors. A bit of vinous (wine like) alcohol with some wild Brett tartness and a sour apple snap in the finish keep everything about the beer lively and exciting while equally balanced and meloncaly. There is not one iota of conflict amongst the blended flavors of this true masterpiece!

Mouthfeel: The beer is full bodied and both slick & smooth and creamy & sprtizy. That sour tangy Brett flavor pulls and puckers the palate then lasts long after it's gone. So what does it really feel like? It feels like it is messing with my mind and I love it.

Drinkability: Everything beautiful and wonderful about creativity and the world brewing is exemplified in this beer. Belgium has Westvleteren 12 and they can boast; but guess what... America has Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company!!!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (2,496 characters)

Photo of RixBeer
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another beer via trade with deepsouth. Awesome man!

Batch 003

First things first, Smell that Brett!

Pale gold yellow cloud with a 2" head. Leaves a nice coat on the sides but that fades too.

This beer reeks of Brett and Oak! The sirens are going off for the sour smell.

This beer is sour as a MF'er! Tart, smooth and sour like a good belgian! Seriously this beer can hang with all the #1s out there! Little fruit, saison like spice but always sour and tart from start to finish. So Smooth! The tartness sticks around a while and refuses to leave the back of your throat. Mmmmm thank you! So Tart and so so yummy!

It's smooth with a bubbly complexity. The carbonation is very light. Tangy and zesty with a nice strong zap of oak near the end of each mouthful.

This beer is so so drinkable. Did a belgian brewery brew this? This can't be from America. O wait it is. Finally a brewery worth the same praise as say, De Dolle...Yummm

Ok I no longer want to review this beer...I need to focus on drinking and enjoying it! Wow this is a delicious brew! (1,055 characters)

Photo of Martin2D
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to fbm115 for sharing this one.

A - Soft yellow with a nice head and lots of carbonation

S - Funky, sour, fruity.

T - This is such an elegant beer. Perfectly balanced in sour, mild fruit flavors with a wood taste. Not much hop presence, but I couldn't think of a way to improve the flavor.

M - High carbonation and light in body.

D - Unbelievably drinkable. Not too sour, very refreshing and mind blowingly balanced. (428 characters)

Photo of phishsihq
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Temptation Batch 006 pours a hazy, straw color and is capped by a white, quickly disappearing head that leaves a light amount of lace. A rich bouquet of aromas burst out of the tulip including hints of oak, chardonnay, green apple and brettanomyces funk. The brew starts out with a fruitiness reminiscent of pears before a quaint oakiness leads other flavors like vanilla and chardonnay grapes into a tart and funky finish. A high level of carbonation dances across the tongue in this medium bodied ale. Maybe our new favorite sour, and that says a lot!

Cheers! (562 characters)

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Chimay Goblet. Pours a nice golden color with a 1/2 inch head that quickly disappears into a small island in the middle of the goblet. Mild carbonation noticable.
Smells of pale, bready malts, grassy hops, chardonay grapes, oak and a nice bit of funk. A slight floral note as well.
Chardonay notes are right up front with bready malts. I also taste some lemon zest, grassy notes, and a touch of wood. The funk is noticable but not overwhelming. My only complaint is that it is super dry. Makes sense being that it's aged in wine barrels but still, super dry.
Despite the price it is amazingly drinkable. Top notch sour, wild ale from one of my favorite breweries. (677 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 002

A - Pours a hazy straw yellow with almost no head but a few patches of hazy white lacing.

S - Tart apples, oak, lemons, fruit, funk, hints of chardonnay, sour. Man there is a lot going on here.

T - Sour grapes, tart apples, lemon, fruits, hints of chardonnay. The blonde ale malt backbone is present with the clean funky/sour flavors mixed in. Complex and leaving me taking sip after sip to try to find all the flavors.

M - Well carbonated and crisp. It mentions that his batch was over carbonated and the cork was removed and recorked to degas. I think the degassing did the trick as the carbonation now plays well with the tart sourness.

D - Hats off to Vinnie on another fine beer. I wish great beers like this were more readily available and in 750's as my 375ml went too fast. (806 characters)

Photo of kbnooshay
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a cloudy golden dark straw color with a small frothy white head. Not much lacing. Aroma is sour with loads of chardonnay. Wow. Tastes like Chardonnay and grapefruit. Acidic like a dry white wine with a pleasant citric flavor. Very drying. Lots of palate cleaning scrubbing bubbles. Incredible. So complex, bright and oddly refreshing! A Sour bretty masterpiece. Tingly feel and very drinkable. (400 characters)

Photo of eagles22
4.92/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful clear light golden body with a 2 finger foamy white head.

Smell: White wine grapes and lemon on the nose with barnyard funk from the brett.

Taste: WOW! sweet white grapes up front with a nice tart finish of lemon and barnyard funk

Mouthfeel: very good carbonation on this brew. leaves you wanting more

Drinkability:off the charts

this is world class brew from RR (389 characters)

Photo of maDUECEgunner
4.91/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thank you Geuzedad for another gem.

Appearance: Deep hazy yellow. Pure white foamy head with good retention. Head dissipated rather quickly.

Smell: Grapes, chardonnay, oak, Belgian yeast.

Taste: Tastes like a mix of oak and chardonnay. Slightly lactic, very easy to drink. Way more mild of a sour than most others.

Mouthfeel. Not a puckering as most sours. Very well carbonated. I barely loosened the cork and it went flying across the room:)

Overall: It's hard to decide whether to give it a 5 or 4.75. It is absolutely amazing, yet kind of one dimensional. I wish I could drink this everyday. Russian River fails to disappoint.

Serving Type: Bottle 05/30/13 (I want another to age) (690 characters)

Photo of flipper2gv
4.9/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to nickd717 for this great brew!

Batch 5

A: Really pale yellow color. Proper pour and the beer is perfectly translucent. A good amount of pure white head (2 fingers approx) with really good retention and really good lacing.

S: The beer is in front of me on my computer desk and I can smell it from here. Really really strong smell. First thing to strike me is the very strong white wine qualities to the smell of this beer. Strong green grapes, lemon, green apples. The wood tannins come out quite strong in the smell too, which is surprising. Strong spices: pepper, mint and coriander. Vanilla. A little bit of hay and horse blanket. Not much malts or hops. Still, one of the most powerful, complex and inviting beer I've ever smelled.

T: After supplication, I expected a very very very sour beer. This is not the case. The beer is sour, but not as sour-bomb-ish as supplication. It has quite a good amount of acidity that shows with green apples, green grapes and (most of all) lemon. To my surprise, there is a definitive hops bitterness to this, a little bit grassy. Still a good amount of vanilla and wood tannins, thanks to the barrel aging. The spices are still there: pepper, mint and coriander. Hay and horse blanket. Perfectly balanced brew while still having a strong taste.

M: Very light and fluffy in the mouth. Carbonation is high.

O: Extremely refreshing. Really taste like a more acid, fruitier white wine. Drinkability is off the charts, I could easily down many of those with only my stomach ulcer stopping me at some point. The alcohol is no where in sight. By far one of the best brew I ever had.

Almost perfect brew? Damn sure to me. (1,669 characters)

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got this bottle from Joey at South Bay Drugs. Thanks Joey!

Batch 003

Poured a 375ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - It pours a hazy yellow peach color. It produces a solid one finger head that slowly dissipated, but never fully goes away - it lasted throughout the entire drinking experience. The head's texture is very fine, billowy. It leaves behind amazing lacing the further along I drink. Carbonation streams rise from hundreds of points along the perimeter of the glass. This is a perfect looking beer.

Smell - I love the way sour beers smell. This one screams tart. The Brett makes its presence known straight off the bat. It has a slightly sweet component, which when tied to the tartness reminds me of SweeTarts. I get notes of lemon, green apple, a hint of orange, Chardonnay, and a woody note from the oak. I wish that the scent was as powerful as the flavor.

Taste - Wow. I love the punch a good sour has. I immediately detect the wild yeast, as well as citrus. I taste tart lemon, white grape juice, woody oak, nectarine or tangerine and Chardonnay. It becomes more dry and sour towards the finish. It very complex, and has huge depth of flavor. This is just what I want from a sour brew.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation level is perfect for a beer this style. It has a high level of carbonation, but cuts through the tartness without detracting from the drinking experience. It is slightly astringent, but that should be expected from a beer of this style. Overall it has a creamy texture, and it is incredibly smooth going down.

Drinkability - Amazing. What a well crafted beer - a feat of brewing prowess. This is amazing drinkable, I find myself drinking it way too fast. None of the flavors are in competition with each other. I enjoyed this one better than I enjoyed Batch 002. I could drink this all day. (1,833 characters)

Photo of PatYoda
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 001.

Pours a clear sparkling peach color with a one finger white head that never goes away and leaves tons of lacing. The aroma is of fruit, white wine, and cobwebby mustiness. Intriguing.

The first taste just blows me away. A sharp tart character is followed by peachy fruitiness and a bunch of sweet, lightly toasted grain. Wow, what a combination. The finish is pretty dry and lingers forever with an oakiness and some malt. This is so incredibly balanced that none of the flavors win out over the others and the combination of them is really something special. This is what I was hoping Supplication was going to be.

The mouthfeel is perfect - just carbonated enough to be really smooth on the tongue, which really works to make the sourness less biting and more inviting. Drinkability is very high. I will definitely be tracking down more Temptation. (870 characters)

Photo of mymrnngjckt
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I finally pulled a bottle of this out of my cellar. Amazing beer. Poured it into a Russian River glass and enjoed.

The color was darker than I thouht it would be. Golden brown/red color. The smell was amazing. You could smell the tartness of the beer. The beer tasted awesome. It had a crisp tartness too it not too overpowering like a Cantillon but more crisp like Flemish Sour. The tartness stayed on the tounge but disappeared quickly.

I wish ther were more of this around because I would drink it every day. (518 characters)

Photo of masterhomebrewer
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A = Pours a light golden color with a white head of tight, small bubbles that fades quickly, leaving a short cover of about a half centimeter.

S = Green apples, bretty funk, vomit sour, white grapes, wood.

T = Dusty-leather brett, wet horse, white grapes, lemons, oak. Super complex.

M = Prickly carbonation and light body combine with dryness to make for a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel.

D = Wow. Really drinkable. Moderate alcohol, fantastic funky elements and sour all work together to create a supremely drinkable sour. Please trade me some!

Serving type: bottle (572 characters)

Photo of mmmbeer
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

375 mL olive brown cork-n-crown bottle. Batch 002, brewed on 6/11/05 with house Belgian and abbey yeasts, unfiltered, and aged for 16 months in French oak chardonnay barrels with saccharo- and brettanomyces. It was bottled on 11/15/06, and conditioned with their house wine yeast and more brettanomyces. It pours a transluscent gold with medium to high carbonation and two inches of white head that settles at an eighth of an inch and leaves sheets of sticky lace. Very nice - it is reminiscent of a well-crafted Belgian. The aroma is also quite Belgian - fruity, oaky, and winey, with the addition of sour and lightly funky overtones. If it were a bit more aromatic it would warrant a five in the category. On the palate there are notes of pale or pilsner malts and green (noble?) hops blended very nicely with a brett sourness and touches of white wine here and there. There are additional notes of grassy/spicy hops, a medium sourness, a mild (but increasing) bitterness, some drying tannins, and oaky/winey notes that increase near the end. So complex and completely delicious. The medium body is drying and lightly numbing, incredibly smooth, and has medium carbonation along with a medium to long finish. Overall an awesome, very drinkable and refreshing beer (a non-stop sipper) that is a testament to the creativity of the American craft beer revolution. (1,362 characters)

Photo of Sephiroth
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to BeerBeing for the trade. Pours a slightly cloudy golden yellow. Two inches of fluffy white foam sit atop. Nice lace. Smells sour, but it is balanced with grassy and vinous aromas. Malty as well.

Taste is incredible. Lemon cake, Brett, something sweet, barnyard character, must, oaky Chardonnay, this is ridiculous. Mouthfeel has Champagne style bubbles. Drinkability is limited by absolutely nothing. (418 characters)

Photo of FreightTrain
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 003. Poured into a wine glass.

Pours a beautiful hazy gold with champagne-like carbonation fizzing along the walls and a persistent one finger white head. Wisps and globs of lacing line the glass.

Nose is tart and cider-like with a whiff of white wine, cherries, and flowers.

Tart, crab apple sourness up front with sparkling, fluffy carbonation. A sublime aftertaste that is almost too good to describe: butterscotch, white grapes, warming alcohol, dry mead.

Creamy and very carbonated in the mouth; the bottle conditioning is perfect.

This is an unbelievably delicious beer. Pushes boundaries in multiple directions. The quality is impeccable. The care with which it is made is evident. The only thing hampering drinkability is price and availability. (767 characters)

Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This has always been one of my favorite sours. Pours a hazy strw orange color with a foamy white head and fine champagne like bubbles. On the nose you pick up granny smith apples, citrus with notes of oak and chardonnay. The palate is fantastic with apple flavors followed by oak, brett and small amoutn of baking spice. Overall this is a great beer, a must try for any sour beer nut. (384 characters)

Photo of gregc
4.87/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Batch 3...

Pours a beautiful cloudy golden color with a hugh fluffy white head, it looks like a cloud.

The aroma coming from the beer is amazing - sour apples, lemons, wild cherries, horse blanket brett, oak and small hits of chardonnay...wow this is great.

The flavor is equally amazing...sour apple, lemon sourness, wet oak, chardonnay flavors...its sour but not too sour at all a nice crisp dry finish.

The mouthfeel is wonderful...nice carbonation, nice sour profile.

I could drink this beer all night...my only concern would be some acid reflux from this, but thats a small price to pay to drink such a great beer. (636 characters)

Temptation from Russian River Brewing Company
97 out of 100 based on 972 ratings.